What fresh hell is this? The top one percent more than doubled their share of the nation’s income since 1979. The new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office tell the back story of Occupy USA, they answer the “why.”
But in almost every Occupy story we do, a reader demands to know what we “want” to and announce that without a clear message, we will go nowhere. Of course, it’s tough to say what “everyone” in the 99% wants, and in a true grassroots movement like the Occupy USA movement, there isn’t a backseat agenda driving the bus; hence, what “we” want will vary. However, the concept of economic justice is a prevailing theme of Occupy USA.
I’ve come up with a list of four specific things that I think would be a great start to reclaiming economic liberty for the 99%. Before we get to the list, let’s remember why we’re here in the first place. “Economic justice!” we chant. “Define economic justice!” they counter.
How’s what economic justice does not look like: Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office report released new figures – the after tax income of top one percent has risen 275 percent since 1979. This morning the Atlantic Wire wrote,
According to a new Congressional Budget Office report released on Tuesday, since 1979 the average, after-tax income of the top one percent of American households has risen 275 percent. Meanwhile, for the poorest one-fifth of the country, it’s gone up just 18 percent. And for the biggest slice of “middle class” America — the three-fifths of homes between the top and bottom 20% — incomes have risen just 40%.
So, that’s why we’re in the streets; to fight the growing economic disparity and lack of opportunity and liberty for the 99%. We are not in the streets because we’re lazy or irresponsible. In fact, the only people making a profit under these current conditions resulting from the Great Trickle Down lie of the last 30 years are the irresponsible speculators, confident as they are in their ability to get a bail out from the people whenever they fail.
Here’s four things we can demand right now:
1) Reinstate Glass-Steagall
2) Reverse Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
3) Pass a law that you can not deliberately lie and call it news, similar to Canada’s Canada’s Radio Act
4) Campaign finance reform
There are many steps to be taken after these first four, but if we were to enact shock and awe on these four fronts, we would get money out of politics, keep banking industries separate from riskier ventures, tamp down propaganda that serves the Economic Royalists on Wall Street and gets Americans to vote against their own interest and elections would become more transparent.
Once we clear the air of the Foxian lies and push the corporate money out of direct office, we can begin to push for more ways to get the government back for the people; for example, we can demand prosecution of the criminal CEOs because our representatives will not be wholly owned and paid for by the corporations. When we get the lies and hate out of the news, public support for The People will skyrocket, because they will no longer be able to divide us based on silly and absurd social issues.
Reinstating Glass-Steagall, repealing Citizens United, enacting some sort of law regarding truth in the news and campaign finance reform would go a long way to reclaiming our democracy for the people. In many cities, the police are acting on orders from on high to terrorize and threaten the Occupiers. They are doing this because they are scared of our desires, our demands, and our voices. They know we will win if we keep fighting.
And if we win, they lose. If we win, the US will once again be the land of opportunity it was intended to be. If we win, the US can be the land of freedom it espouses to be.
If they win, the economic tyrants of Wall Street will continue to be the privileged nobility forcing the rest of us into economic slavery, stealing our liberties and pursuit of happiness from us. We won’t have that. The revolution has come.